Sports Person of the Week
Raucci Always Put Her Team First with the T-Birds
Amy Raucci made a name herself while helping North Branford’s field hockey and softball squads see tremendous success the past few years. This fall, Amy will compete for the women’s field hockey team at Assumption College in Massachusetts. (Photo courtesy of Amy Raucci )
Recent graduate Amy Raucci was a star for the field hockey team and a solid player on the softball squad during her four-year career as a student-athlete at North Branford High School. However, even with all of her success, Amy is quick to give her teammates a ton of credit for everything that she’s achieved with the T-Birds.
“I really always considered myself a team player. I think being able to work with my teammates and communicate well with them put me in the positions I needed to be,” says Amy. “Communication was a big part of [field hockey], and being with my teammates helped me to do that.”
Amy’s main game was field hockey, and she saw immediate success as a member of Head Coach Babby Nuhn’s squad. Amy played on the attack and scored goals in droves for North Branford. In her junior season, Amy was named the Shoreline Conference Player of the Year, in addition to garnering All-Shoreline First Team, All-State First Team, and New Haven Register All-Area honors. As a senior, Amy hit the trifecta by once again earning spots on all three of those teams.
“Those titles, I like to think they reflect on my team and the hard work we put in together. It means a lot to be recognized, especially during my junior year, but the hard work we all put in really showed through with those awards,” Amy says. “I thank my teammates, because I wouldn’t get anywhere without them.”
Amy and the field hockey team put together special years in each of the last two seasons. In 2017, the T-Birds went undefeated on their way to winning the Shoreline Conference Tournament and the Class S State Tournament. Last fall, Amy helped North Branford defend its league title by winning the Shoreline Tournament for the second-straight campaign.
“Junior year, especially, was an amazing year. It’s something I’ll never forget. Everything was in line. We had such a great team bond. All of that brought us to the titles,” says Amy. “When the buzzer finally went off and we won [the state title], Nuhn had tears in her eyes. It was unbelievable. We were in disbelief. It was just an amazing day.”
Amy served as a captain for the T-Birds’ field hockey team during her junior and senior seasons. Amy felt proud to be a leader for a program that’s helped her grow in so many ways.
“I took that first year to learn the ropes from the three senior captains. I learned enough that year to be a better captain and the best role model I could be this year,” Amy says. “I always enjoyed being a good role model for the school. I used the position to be good at communication and took pride in being a leader.”
Coach Nuhn says that Amy’s positive personality had a big impact on her teammates and proved a crucial component in North Branford’s back-to-back dream seasons.
“Many seniors back down in their senior year, but not Amy. She volunteered her time to be a mentor for students in the middle school. She has such a positive influence on all who come in contact with her,” says Nuhn. “Amy’s classmates, teammates, and the administration all truly respect her for the whole person she is.”
Amy also played a big part in helping the North Branford softball squad continue its dynasty. The T-Birds have claimed five-straight Shoreline Conference crowns with Amy making key contributions to their last two titles. Amy finished her varsity softball career with a .264 batting average to go with seven home runs, 60 runs scored, and 38 RBI.
“It’s crazy to think we were on a pedestal, almost like people were afraid to play us. We were used to winning, because we put in extremely hard work. It didn’t come easy, but we put our best foot forward to achieve in games,” says Amy. “It’s still pretty awesome we did it all four years. It’s great to say I never lost a Shoreline title for softball and made it all four years.”
Now that she’s graduated from high school, Amy is looking forward to playing field hockey at Division II Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts later this year. Amy knew that Assumption was the right place for her when she stepped on the campus and felt a similar vibe to the one that she experienced at North Branford.
“I was close to committing to [Stonehill College], but once I visited Assumption and spent the day with the team, it was their team bond and community that made me realize that this where I wanted to be most,” says Amy. “The community is what stuck out to me the most. I knew it where I was meant to be.”